DATING MAKES PERFECT, by Pintip Dunn, Entangled Teen, Aug. 18, 2020, Paperback, $9.99 (young adult)
When a teen’s parents decide to take her dating life into their own hands, things get tricky … and then some in Pintip Dunn’s Dating Makes Perfect.
The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name―hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed.
In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school.
In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course―and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster.
The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon―arrogant, infuriating, and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. And her parents love him.
If only he weren’t her sworn enemy. —Synopsis provided by Entangled Teen
We all know essentially how a rom com novel will end — that’s why we like them. It’s really the journey to that end that keeps us coming back for more. And Pintip Dunn’s Dating Makes Perfect definitely makes you want more.
I didn’t date much as a teen. I only went to a few dances, and they were girl’s choice. So, the teenage dating scene has always been a bit of an enigma for me. Most of my knowledge comes from books. And even I know that what Winnie’s parents do is no good. Their cringe-worthy, though well-intentioned, plan is something we can all imagine our parents doing.
There are so many things to love about Dating Makes Perfect — Winnie’s flawed parents, her seemingly perfect twin sisters, the cute boy who turns out to be not so cute, and the not-so-cute boy who turns out to be just right.
Going into Dating Makes Perfect, I knew very little about Thai-American culture. Pintip does a great job of “educating” without it feeling that way. Food, dress and language flow seamlessly throughout, creating a world that you step into and immediately feel comfortable.
Pintip’s writing is clear with a warmth reminiscent of Sandhya Menon and Jenny Han. I’d happily read more contemporary novels from her along this vein.
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